The sustainability report released by Arvind reflects on how the company made efforts in creating targets and the steps it took to achieve them in a timely and sustainable manner. Here are the excerpts.
Globally, industries, especially textile and apparel, are steadfastly working towards sustainability and the textile giant, Arvind, has put its finger right on the pulse of it. The company is chasing its sustainability goals by following the philosophy of being ‘Fundamentally Right’.
The philosophy ‘Fundamentally Right’ has helped Arvind achieve a global status of being the ‘preferred partner’. The US $ 1.7 bn conglomerate delivers unfailingly on its commitment towards creating value for its stakeholders and hence is able to retain a loyal customer base.
USP means Unique Sustainability Proposition
Their differently explained acronym USP or unique sustainability proposition comprises creating quality products, being responsible for the environment and giving well-being back to the community. And that is what sets Arvind apart from the competitors.
‘Fundamentally Right’ allows them to focus on input management rather than tailpipe management. Arvind focuses on 6 key elements which are integral to their business – Cotton, People, Money, Energy, Water and Chemicals. Their policies, processes, and practices are designed to nurture these key inputs at source and to optimize their utilization making their business robust in the long run.
Going the extra mile, Arvind helps their clients also to achieve their sustainability goals while staying true to the expectations of their varied stakeholders. Together with Arvind, the partners and allies are able to get on par with the international benchmarks.
Arvind boasts of the country’s largest Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) plant with a recycling capacity of 18 mn litres a day. In the current reporting period, the company has paid special attention to rainwater harvesting and using saved water for washing – a process that guzzles water in high quantities.
Water reusing, and recycling is a basic requirement at Arvind which has identified and implemented ways to do just that besides also minimizing their water footprint. The company has implemented a breakthrough Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project at Naroda, where wastewater taken from the surrounding communities through the municipal systems is processed and reused.
The primary aim of Arvind is to eliminate using fresh water. About 90% of the recycled water is used across their various production units where most of them operate using 100% recycled water.
Energy conserved is energy earned. And optimizing energy productivity yields lower emissions, cost cuts and better energy security. Arvind has the distinction of being the first Indian textile company to earn the ISO – 50001:2011 certification in the ‘Composite textile industry denim fabric’ category. The company has established an Energy Conservation Cell that is driven by the CEOs of each of the businesses under Arvind.
Renewable energy and harnessing it is the way to go in conserving energy. And Arvind has combined it with becoming more responsible as an energy user and has begun the process of decarbonization. In the current year, the company has further expanded its rooftop solar power generation facility at the Santej textile complex – which also is the country’s largest at the moment. This plant now has an installed capacity of 18.7 MW and can generate up to 26 million kWh of energy every year. This takes their total Solar capacity across various sites to 25 MW. The Santej unit has also been awarded with the National Energy Conservation Award for conservation excellence 2nd year in a row.
Efficient technologies deployed across Arvind units and offices help keep a check on the amounts of energy consumed. The company’s business-wide Energy Policy ensures that every business unit works towards improving energy usage and performance. All these measures have helped the company to exceed the energy efficiency improvement targets given under the PAT scheme of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
Thread of Life – Cotton
Arvind, as one of the largest producers of woven textiles in India and denim fabric in the world, uses cotton as a key input material. Uninterrupted supply of this raw material is crucial for the company and that is why sourcing it sustainably and reducing the negative impact of cotton cultivation is important to its operations.
Arvind is the first textile major to align with Better Cotton Initiatives (BCI), a global non-profit initiative and hence works with methodologies that are eco-friendly. The company promotes responsible farming techniques including organic farming so that it can benefit the cotton farmers, their families, the community they live in, and the ecosystem.
Regenerative Organic Farming is an initiative by Arvind which looks at the holistic development of farms and farming communities. The company works closely with more than 80,000 cotton farmers covering an area of 300,000 acres for sustainable cultivation with reduced environmental impacts. Attempts are also undertaken to help them lessen their usage of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides while enhancing productivity and farm income using organic methods.
Lessening Chemical Impact
Arvind’s Chemicals Management Policy talks about comprehensive processes and guidelines for purchase, storage, usage and disposal of chemicals. Judicious and responsible use of them is underscored and executed with utmost responsibility.
Replacing conventional chemistry with green solutions, limiting the discharge of hazardous chemicals, recovering salts from wastewater and encouraging farmers to avoid or use fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides on their crops are a few of the steps taken by Arvind.
Efforts are consistently on to find effective substitutes to chemicals that have a smaller environmental impact. The company has developed a database of safer chemistry to assist brands, suppliers, and chemical producers to make better sourcing decisions.
And, in a nutshell, this is what makes Arvind ‘Fundamentally Right’ in its sustainability philosophy!